Author: Jenny Han
Series: Summer #2
Publisher: Penguin (UK)/ Simon & Schuster (US)
Date of UK Publications: May 5th 2011
Source: Free from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Last year, all of Belly’s dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change-- just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.
I loved the first book in this series, The Summer I Turned Pretty. It was awesome. But It's Not Summer Without You is better.
The summers that Belly has looked forward to for the whole of her life will never be the same again. This summer, Belly is facing a boring summer at her own home with Taylor. So when she gets the phone call saying that Conrad has disappeared, she jumps at the chance to find him and see the Fisher boys again. But she has a choice to make. Conrad, or no Conrad?
I love Jenny Han's writing. I loved how once I started reading, I found I could jump right back into the world of the Summer series, as if I had never left it. It was great.
The beginning of the book is so sad, I was already crying like baby after the first 10 pages! I really connected to Belly in this book, and I felt all her emotions, and I understood what was going through her head. She has amazing strength in this book, even if some of the things she does haven't quite been thought through enough, and her loyalty towards Susannah and the summer house is admirable. Once she sets her mind to something, she'll do it, and she'll do it well. She's awesome :)
And of course, the boys were still just as attractive and swoon-worthy as ever. Jeremiah is so sweet, and it's obvious how much he cares for Belly, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He loves Belly, but he knows that her heart will always be set on Conrad, even when he's being a jerk. I really enjoyed that Han put in a few chapters of his thoughts throughout the book, it was nice to read about things from his point of view for a change.
Despite the main part of the book being the three characters trying to deal with feelings of grief and loss, It's Not Summer Without You still manages to have an uplifting and happy feel to it at times. It had me crying, yes, but it also made me laughing out loud and smiling to myself. I think is what makes it so good, the way that it captures both the good and the bad bits of life so well, and what it's like to grow up, to go from being a teenager to a young adult. It doesn't just focus on the bad, but the good bits too.
Overall, the Summer series is an awesome one. It manages to deal with the facts of life in a way that is fun and inspiring, and I love it. The ending to this one was horrible (in a good way), as it has left me on a huge cliffhanger, and I cannot wait until We'll Always Have Summer. It's going to be amazing.
And my answer to the biggest question, Team Jeremiah or Team Conrad?
I think I'm leaning towards TEAM CONRAD, though at one point it in the book I was rooting for TEAM JEREMIAH. But right now, Conrad all the way :)
Thanks to Penguin for sending me this!* :)
I give it 5 feet!
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #39
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.